Roadkill on BBC: Show writer addresses comparisons to Margaret Thatcher ‘It’s dramatised!’

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The BBC drama explores the dark world of politician Peter Laurence (played by Hugh Laurie), who viewers saw celebrate winning a libel case against a newspaper. However, as he tries to build up his professional career, one person standing in his way is Prime Minister Dawn Ellison (Helen McCrory), who is determined not to let him come too close. Now, show writer David Hare has explained the process of creating the character, insisting she is “entirely fictional.”

Those watching the drama saw the cracks between Helen McCrory’s Prime Minister and Hugh Laurie’s character Peter. 

After promising him a role in high office, he is left frustrated when he is not given the position she leads him to believe he has secured. 

Instead of being appointed as Foreign Secretary, he is given the less desirable job as the Minister for Justice.

And some of those watching the show have looked for comparisons between the fearsome Dawn Ellison and former UK female Prime Ministers.

The nation has only ever had two Prime Ministers, Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May. 

However, the writer behind the series recently spoke out on his efforts to make sure the latest on-screen Prime Minister was “completely fictional.”

Speaking at the BFI at Home series, David addressed whether there were any links between Helen McCrory’s character and either of the former female Prime Ministers. 

After it was noted Helen’s Prime Minister was “not like Margaret Thatcher or Theresa May” David expanded on this point. 

He said: “So much television now – and believe me, a lot of it is great – but so much television now is dramatised documentary.

“Something happens, somebody makes a documentary about it and then three years later, someone comes along and makes the film – and the film is usually not as good as the documentary!”

He went on to stress: “There is good documentary television but it’s, it’s getting very, very predictable what the subjects of television dramas are going to be 

“Someone’s going to make it about one well-known scandal, then about another well-known scandal.”

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He went on to touch on why he wanted to make sure Helen’s character bore no likeness to any previous female Prime Minister.

“I really did want the right for this to be completely fictional,” he explained. “And Helen McCrory, her character, Dawn Ellison, is a completely… 

“I’m trying to treat the idea of a female prime minister as something completely normal.

“She’s just one more female Prime Minister and not the ones that have been,” insisted David. 

David explained just how much Helen enjoyed playing the role and has requested he write a play featuring her latest alter-ego.

He added: “Helen loves her character so much that she’s asking me if I can write a play! 

“Because she simply thinks that someone who is that rude to people and is completely without any self-doubt – as she appears to be – is just who she’s always wanted to be in life and please, can she do more of it?”

Tonight’s episode will see Peter’s private life unravel further – but will he manage to keep everything under control?

Roadkill continues tonight at 9pm on BBC One.

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